Aerobic fitness is defined as ‘the body’s ability to take in, transport and use oxygen’. Aerobic training (also known as ‘cardiovascular’ training) has numerous benefits including reduction of: stress; bodyfat; blood pressure; heart rate; risk of heart disease, plus increased: energy; heart and lung efficiency; metabolic rate; confidence - to name but a few!
In order to increase aerobic fitness, the body must be overloaded, that is it must work harder than in every day life. This does not mean nipping out for a15 mile run in your lunch break! The recommended minimum for aerobic exercise is 3 times a week for 30 minutes (this does not include your warm up and cool down!). The intensity should feel ‘somewhat hard’ - where you are out of breath but can still hold a conversation.
Walking, swimming, cycling, dancing and rollerblading are all examples of aerobic exercise, that means any activity which is rhythmic, continuous and is able to be sustained for a long period of time (more than 5 minutes). And, no, lifting pints is not aerobic!
Fiona Whitfield, Fitness Instructor
Falmer Sports Complex
This article published on
01 July 2005
Next review date 01/07/2013
Diet and exercise